I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.
As Keily’s dissertation was coming to an end, she discussed with Shakhil on the phone if searching for jobs was on his mind.
“Where do you intend to work? In Industry or Academia? Both my friends, Lucy and Grace preferred Industry. But I prefer Academia.”
“Very well. Why don’t you start sending out resumes and cover letters to the various universities? As for me, I prefer to work in the industry and will soon start applying."
“Which state do you prefer? Both my friends went to California. I would like to try California as well. Why don’t you try for Los Angeles, California? I have the University of California, Los Angeles in mind.”
“Good. As for me, I am undecided about which state to try. But since you say, I will try Los Angeles, California. I have a special interest in the Microsoft branch office there.”
Keily said, “I have re-revised your dissertation. I think it is free from grammatical errors and faulty sentence structures. I have proofread mine too for the last time and will soon go for binding it.”
Shakhil asked, “Did you email me the final version of my thesis?”
Keily said promptly, “Oh yes! You will find it in your email inbox.”
Shakhil said, “Thank you so much. You are one good real friend.”
Keily updated her resume and sent it along with a cover letter to the University of California, Los Angeles. She tried a few other universities too but the first one was her real target.
Then she went out to Dr. Mili’s lab to get print copies of her thesis and next, she put in the order to bind five sets at the relevant shop.
After that, she went to the grocery complex. She felt happy and free. She sang in her mind and took the shuttle ride back to her apartment.
The next day in the late afternoon while she was checking her email, she was surprised to find a reply from the University of California, Los Angeles. It asked on a positive note if she could give a presentation of her thesis work at their university. They would like to look at her work and then interview her at a later date to find out if she was eligible for Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department.
Keily jumped up in joy. She dialled Shakhil’s number to give him the news. She had a contract with the Apartments office one more month. So if she could settle her job within the time duration, it would be great.
She knew she had to fly to California to give the presentation. Her dissertation defense was one week later. She wanted to finish that and then handle the presentation in LA.
“Calm down”, said Shakhil. “I know it’s natural for you to be excited. I have also applied for the Microsoft branch office in Los Angeles. But I haven’t got a reply yet. Like you, my apartment’s contract is valid until next month. Do you want me to accompany you to LA?”
“Let me think”, said Keily. “I will let you know in a day or two.”
As she prepared slides for her dissertation defense, secretly she also felt compelled to prepare another simpler version of her presentation that would be appropriate for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
As her defense day was nearing, Keily stopped by Shakhil’s apartment to show him the presentation slides if he had any comments or suggestions. Shakhil beautified the slides by adding artistic features and more sophistication. Keily was happy with the final output.
Finally, her defense day arrived. She had invited Shakhil to be present at the event. She began slowly in an audible voice, becoming confident and narrating briefly each slide. In 45 minutes she was done, and everyone clapped. Dr. Mili was happy with her performance and her slides. The other committee members asked a few questions, and Keily answered them all boldly and knowingly.
Next, it was Shakhil’s turn to defend his dissertation three days later. His presentation slides were wonderfully full of animation. He presented logically, rationally and intelligently. There was loud applause. Keily cheered too. A Question and Answer phase followed. Shakhil was able to make a good impression on his committee members.
After he came out of the complex, he told Keily that he had good news. “What is it, Shakhil?” asked Keily.
Shakhil took her by the legs and lifted her and moved in circles in extreme joy.
“Put me down, Shakhil. I understand you got the interview at LA Microsoft branch office, isn’t it?”
Shakhil replied laughing, “You are quick-witted. That is the reason I am doubly happy today.”
“Okay, okay”, laughed Keily heartily.
Meanwhile, UCLA had given a date for Keily’s presentation in the first week of the next month, June. Accordingly, she started preparing for it.
The graduation ceremony was at the end of the month (May). Keily and Shakhil both would be attending it. It would be full of fun. Only Grace and Lucy would not be there.
The day arrived. Keily and Shakil’s batchmates all attended the day’s ceremony.
They were conferred upon their Ph.D. degrees, and there were speeches after speeches. Finally, it was time to photograph and enjoy food.
Keily was very happy. It was a dream of her to have a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and work in academia. Everything was falling into place. And she couldn’t have been merrier.
When the presentation day at UCLA arrived, Shakhil accompanied Keily to reach there. She gave the presentation lucidly and brilliantly. She had all the higher-ups' approval. They promised they would contact her by email.
Shakhil’s interview at LA was one week ahead. He planned to look for an apartment then at a reasonable rent after his interview. He thought of roaming about a little bit to find good apartments. He kept it a secret from Keily.
To Be Continued …
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Keily gives a finishing touch to her Ph.D. thesis in the second last semester with the approval of Dr. Mili. She is left with documenting her dissertation. Meanwhile, the deshi friend asks her help in proofreading his thesis. Keily agrees and dedicates time to it. A wonderful friendship burgeons. To read more, click the above title.
© 2020 Rosina S Khan